Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Guru's College Report: Rutgers Shakes Off UMass Loss Dominating Howard

By Mel Greenberg

Just 48 hours after the Rutgers women's basketball team suffered one of its more improbable defeats in the 19-season C. Vivian Stringer era, occurring on the road at lowly-regarded Massachsetts, the Scarlet Knights bounced back in their own arena Friday night to demolish Howard 69-38 in the nonconfeence matchup.

Rutgers (4-1) sped off to a 10-0 lead and increased it to 20-4 before heading into the break at 33-22. The Scarlet Knights (4-1) killed off hopes of the Bisons (2-3) quickly in the second half by getting in the 20s in terms of differential and then finished with a separation of 31 points.

It must be triple double week for centers in the American Conference because Connecticut senior Stefanie Dolson became the second Huskies star to achieve the feat, reaching the milestone on Wednesday night in Hartford with points, rebounds and assists against Oregon.

Rutgers 6-foot-4 sophomore center Rachel Hollivay nearly also got to the milestone, though while setting her second career high in as many nights with 26 points, and also gaining a career mark with 13 reboounds, she just missed the mark blocking nine shots.

"When i saw on the film that I had a height advantage I just did what I had to do," Hollivay said.

Still, it was herr first career double double and the nine blocks were the first by a Rutgers player since WNBA Washington Mystics star and former All-American Kia Vaughn had a similar total on Feb. 28, 2009.

Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Sue Wicks set the Rutgers' game mark in blocks at 11 against West Virginia on Jan. 3, 1987.

Additionally sophomore Kahleah Copper also had a double double with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

She has had a double double in all five games, the best start for a Rutgers player since WNBA Chicago Sky All-Star rang off 11 in the 2006-07 season when the Scarlet Knights went on to reach the NCAA title game in Cleveland.

Syessence dealt seven assists and grabbed nine rebounds and was lauded by Stringer afterwards.

"With Betnijah Laney still out (high ankle sprain sidelining her for the second straivght game) Syessence volunterred to play the four spot and look at the rebounds," the Naismith Hall of Fame coach said.

"Offensively, she was playing the one but defensively she was playing the four so it was good to see her flexibility in being able to do that. Point guards are usually the most flexible because they know everybody else's position."

Unlike the other night against the Minutewomen, who had not won any of the previous three games played and the 12th pick in the Atlantic 10, this time Rutgers did what one would expect against such an opponent as the Bisons of the MEAC conference.

"I think this was our challenge, so much of this is as much mental as the physical side," Stringer said. "We should have done better where were but we can hang our heads and feel sorry about it all the time or we can play.

"It wasn't a matter of winning, it was important more of how we won and hold ourselves accountable. It was good to see everybody execute and hold ourselves accountable."

Te'Shya Heslip was the only Howard player in double figures with 10 points and had a not laudable double double by committing 10 of the 23 turnovers forced by the ScarletKnight, who had statistical dominations of 46--20 inside the paint, 27-8 in points off turnovers, and 20-11 in second chance points.

Rutgers owned the boards with a 57-40 advantage.

The crowd of 1,006 in the Louis A. Brown Athletic Center included former Rutgers star April Sykes, who plays in the WNBA.

Rutgers next plays No. 15 LSU Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. in the Battle of Brooklyn in the Barclays Center where the event also includes Michigan and Texas Tech.

Winners and losers meet on Saturday at either 7:30 p.m. or 10 p.m.

The Scarlet Knights were the only of the 10-team PhilahoopsW in action Friday but on Saturday Penn will host No. 5 Notre Dame at 3 p.m. at The Palestra, while Saint Joseph's hosts Liberty and Princeton travels to Georgetown.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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